Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Never Enough Time

Twice since Katie and Craig have been home for Christmas, I have dreamed stopwatches. The other day, huge red digital numbers flashed against a black background, ticking down the seconds. Early this morning, a black second hand clicked off against a white clock face.

The kids are heading back to their home today, back to Minnesota. I've just pulled the last load of their laundry from the dryer, checked the house for stray bits and pieces that haven't made it into their luggage yet. In the still-dark morning, with the Christmas lights glowing, it's strangely peaceful and pleasant.

We had the best time last night, the only evening we've had for just the three of us. We had spaghetti and meatballs for dinner. They taught me to play Guitar Hero. We taught Craig to play Yahtzee. The iPod pumped music into the house. I danced around, singing and embarrassing Katie to death. It was all so good.

They'll be up any minute and soon after, they'll pull out the drive and head back to their own lives. I'll cry for a while and then settle into gratitude again. I am truly so grateful for the time we've had, the way we are together.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Katie and Craig wanted to see "Marley and Me" while they are here. At dinner on Sunday night, N mentioned she had read the book and was looking forward to the movie. Yesterday I suggested we invite N and her family to join us at the movie.

Katie finds being the center of everyone's attention exhausting. Her first two encounters with N were five- and six-hour marathons of questions and stories—understandable attempts to compress 21 lost years into the time available. She is very happy for the opportunities and enjoys the time, but it wears her out. I thought it would be a good idea for them to do something normal together—something not centered on Katie—so they can start building a relationship built on common interests and shared activity.

I am not, however, generous enough to sacrifice much of our precious time together, which led to the movie idea. When I casually mentioned inviting N, Katie kind of brushed it off. An hour or so later, she brought it up and said maybe it would be a good idea. She made the call. N eagerly accepted, and we all agreed to meet at a theater half-way between our homes.

Katie and N sat next to each other and shared Kleenex at the end. Afterward, we had something to talk about other than Katie, which she appreciated.

A baby step, to be sure, but still a step toward a new normal for us all.

Monday, December 29, 2008

A Bite of the Family Tree

Katie and Craig and I had dinner at Ns last night. It was absolutely lovely.

Craig and I dropped Katie off at 4:30 and went off to run some errands and give Ns parents some privacy for meeting her. We walked into the house an hour or so later, and I felt as though we had known these people for years. Ns mother and father hugged me like an old friend as we introduced ourselves. Her husband welcomed us with open arms.

After dinner, we sat around the table and told stories for almost six hours. Her family told stories of Ns love for animals, her need to plan, her love for music, and I recognized pieces of my daughter. We told stories of Katie's life, which they drank in like hot chocolate on a snow day.

We parted the same way we started—with hugs and tears. It was as easy as meeting new friends. It was also unbearably difficult.

Ns teeth are the same size and shape as Katie's. Those small white squares were the only thing in the room for a moment as I recognized another link between my daughter and the woman who gave her life. The lovely china cabinet, the sparkling red crystal, the Christmas china, the people—colors and shapes swirled and disappeared. For a split second, only those teeth remained: N's and Katie's. They hung in the air like the grins of Cheshire cats singing "Na, na, na boo boo." Before my eyelashes separated from a hard blink, the room righted itself and Katie continued her story about losing a hamster in our house.

I can only imagine that stories of Katie's childhood are the grins of Cheshire cats for N. She wants to hear, she wants to know our daughter, but the childhood she missed lingers in the air after the words fade.

My guess is that we both wish our stories were different. If I were the Great Editor in the Sky, my daughter, this particular being of the human nature, would have been born to me and no one with prior claims would enter our lives, now or ever. I'm pretty sure N would request a complete rewrite on the chapter involving Katie's birth.

Neither of us have that sort of editorial power, so we're reconciling ourselves to the story as written. That means short, square teeth will catch me off guard and stories of Katie's childhood will pierce N's heart, and we will gather our strength and our courage and move forward into this unknown world, guided by our common intention to live out a happy ending for our daughter.

There is no other real choice.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Good News/Bad News

Katie and Craig are on their way here, even as I type. She's tired and a bit sore from all the retching, but doing well. I am so thankful. More soon.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Good News/Bad News

It's been a good news/bad news kind of day. The good news is that Katie and her boyfriend handled a difficult situation well, that Craig is a kind and responsible young man, that Katie did not have to stay in the hospital. The bad news is that instead of driving here today, Katie spent most of the day in the emergency room getting IV fluids and drugs to help balance her blood sugar during a terrible bout with a stomach bug. The flu is no fun for anyone. For a Type I diabetic, it can be quite dangerous.

Katie and Craig monitored her blood sugar throughout the night and called the clinic when things started getting out of hand. Following the nurse's advice, Craig drove her to the hospital early this morning and stayed with her as she was rehydrated and monitored. When she was finally released, he drove her home and took care of her.

We don't yet know if they'll be able to come tomorrow. If not, I'll drive up to Minneapolis to be with her. In the end, only the good news is of any lasting consequence: We will have many more Christmases together.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The View from Under the Jeep

Yesterday was one of those days when the weather doesn't know whether. At various times, we had rain, snow, sleet, and freezing rain.

The day started with a conversation about the turtle and the fence post—whether things that happen are messages from God. A friend interpreted an event as God saying, "I want you to believe I have heard your prayers." I wasn't sure.

Mom and I both needed to run some errands, so we braved it together. Our second stop was Bed Bath & Beyond for a Magic Bullet, a blender sort of thing Katie wants. As I was paying, a woman produced a $5 coupon and offered it to me, then exclaimed, "Oh! Wait! I have a better one. Here's one for 20% off!" The unexpected kindness brought tears to my eyes.

We moved on to Costco, where I dropped Mom off at the door and went to park the Jeep. A spot near the front door was open, but I let an older gentleman take it and ended up parked at the back of the lot, next to a traffic island surrounded by snow banks. When I went back to get the car later, the precipitation had turned to a hard rain. I slipped on the snow bank, fell like a sack of wet cement, and ended up UNDER the Jeep. When I crawled out and up, I slid back again, over and over. Eventually, I laid under the Jeep in a puddle of freezing water and laughed til I could barely breathe. Finally, I managed to pull myself up the icy lump and scramble to my feet. Miraculously, nothing was damaged but my dignity. (I've got some mighty impressive bruises, though.)

Next, I dropped Mom off in front of the grocery store. Unbelievably, the first thing I saw when I got in the door was the elderly gentleman from the Costco parking lot. He recognized me, said hello, leaned heavily on his cane and walked away.

When we got home, it took 30 minutes to carry in all the groceries and packages. Wet and cold, I sat down near the fireplace to check email. The first one was a contract request for a terrific freelance writing assignment, one I'd almost given up on.

The question is whether events are signs from God or simply natural events we interpret as signs. Turns out, it's not an either/or question. The answer is Yes. Whether we recognize it or not, all creation is God saying, "I want you to believe I hear your prayers."

Merry Christmas to all.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Turning Toward the LIght

The longest night of the year has come and gone. Now the nights are getting shorter and the days longer. Incrementally, it's true, but steadily.

As always, I wrote my deepest fear on a piece of paper, burned it and blew it into the sky last night. Given all that's happened lately, you might think my deepest fear is that I will lose my place in my children's lives or that my parents will die. It is not. My deepest fear is much broader: it is that I will let fear stop me from living as I should.

Although I'm doing much better in recent days, my fear of losing the kids' love and loyalty tempts me to be selfish, to close my heart and mind. Giving into that temptation would hurt my children and, ultimately, me.

Fear for my parents tempts me to ignore realities, to pretend everything is the same as it's always been and that it always will be. Doing that cheats me of the chance to help them in all possible ways through this transition.

In these terrible economic times, I am afraid I won't be able to continue making a living as a writer. I work longer and longer hours at paying jobs and spend less and less time on my personal writing, reasoning that I can't afford to waste time and no one is publishing right now, anyway. It's certainly true that publishing is in a dire state, but it's not impossible unless I make it so by giving up on myself.

So I wrote my fear of fear in permanent marker and set it ablaze in a 9-inch metal pie pan. The letters were still visible after the paper burned, but the force of my breath scattered them, leaving no permanent mark on the starry sky over Independence, Missouri.

Afterward, I lit candles and watched their flames flicker. No cursing the darkness this year. I'm going to light the candles and get to work, with an open heart, an open mind, and love. Always with love.

My Solstice prayer for you all:

May only good come to you.
May only good come from you.
May you live in the Light of Love.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Baby, It's Cold Outside

Mom and I worked in the sewing room yesterday afternoon, but it wasn't as much fun as usual. Mom's sister and brother have gone to Texas for the winter, and they did not invite Mom and Dad to join them. Mom has pretty well come to terms with the fact that Dad shouldn't drive the motor home anymore. She doesn't actually want to go to Texas, but she wants to be asked.

Dad reheated some pizza at dinner time, and we ate it in front of the TV—definitely not a typical dinner at their house, which usually involves a tablecloth and cloth napkins. And vegetables.

The local weather report warned of sub-zero temperatures overnight, the coldest weather here in nearly 20 years. Suddenly, I couldn't remember disconnecting the hose again after using it during a warm spell a few weeks ago. (My Minnesota friends probably can't imagine this, but the hose bibs here don't have shut off valves inside the house.) Anyway, I beat feet home to make sure.

10 degrees, dark, patches of snow on the ground. I used a flashlight to find my way down the side of the house and discovered that I had, indeed, left the hose connected. Tried to wrestle it off with no success. Tromped back to the house for a pair of pliers and some gloves. Dad called and offered to come help. He's 77. He has COPD and just got over pneumonia. I told him I could handle it and would let him know when I got it resolved.

Managed to get the hose off and discovered ice inside the bib. Tromped back to the house for an extension cord and a hair dryer. With a flashlight in one hand and a hair dryer in the other, I warmed the brass bib til water ran out. Closed everything up neat and tidy, dragged my junk back inside and called Dad.

"Oh, good," he said. "I was just heading out the door. Thought you must be having trouble." Relief and sadness sang a background duet in his voice.

You hear people talk, sometimes in romantic terms, about the "autumn of life." No one mentions winter, when a man realizes he's no longer strong enough to hold up the sky for his wife or his daughters. That's when it really gets cold.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Yes and No

Saw Jim Carrey's new movie, "Yes Man" last night, a decent movie that got me thinking.

Saying Yes to Life often means saying No. (Yes, I AM stuck on that "everything contains its opposite" thing right now. Thanks for noticing.)

Seriously, if you say yes to everything asked of you, you're wasting time and precious resources. Making yourself a hostage to others is not the same thing as having an open heart and mind. It always comes back to balance.

Damn, I hate that.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Thinking with my Fingers

It's creeping toward 1:00am, and I can't sleep. Just now the silence in the house gathered into a big furry creature and took a seat on my head, threatening to suffocate me. When the dark behind my eyelids divided itself into a hundred miniature checkerboards, I gave up on sleep and came here to think with my fingers.

An article on my home page yesterday suggested keyboards will be relics by 2015. Lord, I hope not. My fingers often know what I think before I do. Who knows how it happens, but stuff shows up on the screen that I have no conscious memory of thinking. I'd hate to lose that. Plus, for what did Mrs. Dewhirst teach me to type if not for this?

Trellis Dewhirst was a formidable woman, tall and square and stern. Her sister, Una Ellison, taught American History. Miss Ellison was a less substantial person somehow—thinner and slighter, with a higher voice and less imposing manner. Miss Ellison brought in a television every fall and let her classes watch the World Series. Yes, Virginia. When I was in high school, World Series games were played in the daytime. I'm pretty sure most fields had lights, but the world had not yet started to revolve around prime-time programming.

Anyway, Mrs. Dewhirst taught us to type and Miss Ellison taught us to appreciate Bob Gibson, a pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals who struck out 17 Detroit Tigers in one 1968 WS game. His record stood for nearly 40 years and may still, for all I know.

I googled around, trying to find the spelling of Mrs. Dewhirst's first name. Came across her obituary and was stunned to find she died only last year, at 93. That means she was 54--the same age I am now--when she taught me to pound out The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog. Oh, the arrogance of youth. We thought she was ancient.

There's a comfy thought to keep me company in the silence.

No Gift Before Its Time

Katie and her boyfriend have already given each other their Christmas presents. (One has already been exchanged.) Katie has her big present from her father and me, too—help buying a new MacBook. She doesn't care about packages to unwrap under the tree. She prefers to know that she's getting what she wants or needs.

Me, I want no gift before its time. I'm a sucker for the Big Moment when everyone's sitting around the sparkling tree, carols in the background and all. Strange, then, that one of the best Christmas gifts I ever received involved no tree or carols. Not even a living room.

Years ago, one of the great loves of my life gave me an early Christmas present I'll never forget.

In early summer I mentioned that I'd been to "visit my pearls," meaning I'd gone to Dayton's semi-annual pearl sale intending to buy a string and had, once again, talked myself out of it. We laughed and the conversation moved on. Six months later, great hubbub surrounded his selection of my Christmas gifts. The kids went shopping with him several times. Three friends reported having been consulted. Colleagues teased about his preoccupation with the mystery gift.

Two weeks before Christmas, we took all four kids to see "Annie" at the Ordway Theatre in St. Paul. Steven drove to Wisconsin that afternoon to pick up his oldest daughter from college. His 17-year-old daughter had dinner with the kids and me and we all headed off to meet at the Ordway. Steven was a reluctant user of cell phones, but he called from the road to ask what I was wearing that night.

"Um...not a turtleneck, okay?" he said. "Less is more at the neckline." We hadn't seen each other all week and I laughed it off as suggestiveness.

Our arrival at the theatre was a flurry of getting the car parked and the kids organized. All three seemed pretty wound up, but that wasn't unusual. Steven and Shannon arrived just in time for us to find our seats before the curtain went up. They seemed more flustered than usual, too.

At intermission, Steven led me to a bench in the hall. The kids gathered around us and he produced a beautiful box from his jacket pocket. Inside was not just a pearl necklace, but the pearl necklace. With the help of my children and friends and his colleagues, he found the precise size, length, and color I wanted. It had been one off-hand comment so long ago, I had no idea he remembered at all. As I cried, the kids clapped and cheered. Strangers smiled and joined the applause.

As much as I loved the pearls (and still do), the true gift was that he listened and remembered the conversation, that he went to such great lengths to discover what I wanted and find it. I guess it's always the right time for that.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

We Are Family

We all gather at Mom and Dad's on Tuesday nights to work on quilts and other sewing projects. Heather (my youngest niece) made the dinner last night. Her minestrone was delightful on a cold, snowy day.

Brendan (my nephew) stopped in for a short rest. He has several commercial contracts to snowplow parking lots and expected to work all night. He stripped down to his long underwear and we threw his wet clothes in the dryer. Mom had baked his favorite treat (homemade bread filled with chunks of salami and mozzarella), so he ate a bunch and then curled up on the sofa to take a little nap.

Jim (my brother-in-law) came through on his way to his Tuesday night poker game. He munched down a cookie and hit the trail.

Individually we are quite crazy, and collectively, we are plenty dysfunctional. We irritate, aggravate and confuse one another on a daily basis, but we are one another's touch stones, the most fundamental of bottom lines.

When Dad's sister was here over the weekend, we all gathered in the sewing room. I was making flannel pajamas for my niece and telling Dad and uncle Bill some silly story. My sister was struggling with the computer that's supposed to drive Mom's embroidery machine. Mom was working on a blanket she's quilting as a favor to a woman who works for my brother-in-law. The dogs were aflutter, barking at everything that moved outside.

Aunt Gail's eyes filled with tears, over and over. She quietly wiped her eyes and carried on. Her only daughter died of a brain aneurysm more than 10 years ago, and she would give anything for our irritation and aggravation and confusion.

The only thing worse than family is not having one.

Monday, December 15, 2008


Via email and one (anonymous) comment, several people asked why I put up a tree if I "purely hate" doing it.

Simple: I love having the tree more than I hate putting it up. Every year, I get over the funk of assembling it alone and fall under the spell of its twinkling lights and sparkling glass. I blow up an airbed and sleep in the living room beside it most nights it's up. (Not til the second night, though. I'm usually in full funk on the first.)

To my very bones, I believe in magic and miracles and happy endings. A Christmas tree is a symbol of one miracle that sparked millions more. I appreciate the reminder.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Evan needs me to pay his college tuition.

Katie wants me to edit a term paper.

Dad is waiting for me to put up the Christmas tree.

Mom is crying in frustration over her computer.

Like millions of women across this country, I'm sandwiched between my children and my parents, being nibbled to death.

As usual, I stopped in at Mom and Dad's Friday morning and ended up down in the sewing room with Mom for a bit. When I came up, my nephew had just brought up the Christmas tree for Dad. Dad saw me with my keys and said, "Oh, are you going already?"

I knew what he wanted but pretended not to notice his puppy-dog eyes so I could escape to my busy day, which included putting up my own tree. Evan came over as I was hauling up a 6-ft, 30-lb. plastic box from the basement. He stood in the foyer watching me struggle, wearing an air of Could you hurry up? I wrote the tuition check, he went on his not-so-merry way and I completed the dreaded task.

I purely hate putting up the tree. Bill left home in the middle of November and putting up the tree alone that first time was one of the saddest, loneliest things I have ever done. A lot of bright and beautiful has passed since that day, but every time I pull out the ornaments, I land back in that darkness and fear for a little while. Very Zen about it, though: I feel the grief but don't dwell in it. A couple of glasses of wine, a box or two of Kleenex, a couple of therapy sessions and I'm back on track.

No rest for the wicked and the righteous don't need it, my mom says. When I checked on Mom and Dad Saturday afternoon, their tree was still in a box sitting in the corner of the living room. Mom stopped dealing with the tree many years ago. Dad did it alone for a long time, but in the last few years, the ghosts of our childhoods lingering in the boxes of ornaments overwhelm him.

Mom and Dad went out to get a sandwich while I put up the tree and decorated it. What else could I do? They brought back a sandwich for the dog. I had a handful of tortilla chips.

The worst movies in the world are made about Christmas. They all have the same plot: an uptight, corrupt, or just-plain-mean person gets saved through the miraculous love and joy of Christmas. I watch them all. The smarmier, the better. Whoopi Goldberg as a little girl who blames Santa for her father's death in Viet Nam? Bring it on. Meredith Baxter dealing with the death of her son? Set the DVR. Starting in November, I watch every stupid moment of every stupid Christmas movie that comes on. Passes the time as I wait for my own miracle to find me.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know. You can't wait for a miracle, you've got to BE the miracle. But first I've got to wash the mustard off my face. This sandwich gig gets ugly.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


Now I've heard it all. Did you know it's possible to perm your eyelashes? Well, it is. And I don't mean to insult anyone who does this, but WTF?

Whiling away some sleepless hours during my snake freakout the other night, I wandered through some of the Reuters best photos for the year. The living conditions of much of the world are stunning, even to someone who has traveled a bit and studied the world a lot. Those of us who live with clean running water should give thanks every day for this enormous grace. Don't EVEN get me started on heating and cooling. And toilets.

Dear God: thank you for the toilets in my home. One person doesn't need three toilets, but I thank you for them.

Millions of children without places to wash their faces and we're out perming our eyelashes.

I owned a salon and day spa for more than four years. I know how much our appearance impacts our spirits. I believe in the healing powers of manicures and pedicures, even if I don't practice them much. (I'd post a picture of my toes right now, but I'm just not that brave.) But guys---there's a line between self care and narcissism, and I'm drawing it at my stick-straight eyelashes.

And yes, I do realize everyone else is free to draw their own lines wherever they want. Or not to have lines at all. Whatever. I'd rant a little more but I've got to pluck the hairs off my chin before I go get my eyebrows threaded.

Et tu, Brutus?

Friday, December 12, 2008

Just Wild About Harry

The voice of God spoke to me last night, straight from the pages of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Really.

If you haven't read the book or you're waiting to see the movie, stop reading right now. I'm about to give away the ending.

The part where Dumbledore explains it all to Harry simply knocked me out. From the discussion of Harry's mother sacrificing her life to save Harry to the explanation that by surrendering to it, Harry transcended death—the voice of God echoed through the darkness of my bedroom, illuminating far more than by Itty Bitty Book Light could manage.

As my children seek reunion with their birth mothers, I fear the death of my role as their mother. Those may or may not be realistic fears, but they haunt me and running from them does not help. Surrender is the only answer. (I hear you snickering, B.)

Harry helped me grasp the paradox. Releasing my children to their own stories will help me transcend separation from them. Dumbledore confirmed what my dear friend and counselor Sandy taught me: Everything contains its opposite.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Moving in Mysterious Ways

Remember the other day when I had that whole cobra thing going on? Well, it was perfectly strange, how clear the image of a snake rising in my chest was. I could feel that hood spread, feel the texture of the snake's skin. Can't say I've ever felt anything like that, and it creeped me out. Totally.

The next morning, I laughed at myself but good when I realized I'd been reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows just before the snake images got rolling. You know, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named and Nagini and all--no wonder I had snakes on the brain. Don't bother with medications for me—sugar pills will surely do. Can you say "suggestible"?

Monday, December 08, 2008

Two Steps Forward, One Cobra Back

N emailed on Sunday to invite Katie and her boyfriend and me to dinner the weekend after Christmas. When I called to accept, we laughed and cried together. When she mentioned something about the future, I told her we are going to be fabulous grandmas someday.

Today I picked up a "University of Minnesota Mom" coffee mug Katie gave me her first year at the U. As I put it in the cupboard, it struck me how much a mug like that would mean to N and made a mental note to suggest it to Katie.

Katie forwarded an email she received from N this evening, pictures of some lovely cakes N baked and decorated. Katie is a big fan of Ace of Cakes (and all things Food Network), so she was quite impressed with the cakes and called to make sure I'd seen them. After we hung up, I noticed Ns note to Katie, which ended by saying that she looked forward to baking together soon.

Something hot and fierce rose in my chest, spreading its hood like a cobra ready to spit venom. I had to get a drink of water from the frig and take Cassie for a quick walk in the cold night air before I could really breathe again.

"Get a grip, Jerri. They will share special things. Of course they will. They will do things together. That's what developing a relationship means. You know that.

Apparently I can be generous when I'm dictating the terms—acknowledge N as a grandmother and a U mother as long as it's abstract or printed on a ceramic mug. But let butter and flour and sugar enter the picture (in HER kitchen, no less), and it's all cobras and mongooses inside my chest.

The problem is not N or cakes or pictures. It is me, clutching, grasping, clinging to what I wish for rather than accepting what is. I go along in pretty good shape for a while and then my equanimity gets shattered by the smallest thing and the cobra rises up and spreads its hood of jealousy, lured out of its basket by the flute of irrational fear.

Seriously that creepy seen-a-snake feeling was so strong after I went to bed I had to turn on the lights and look around.


So many miles to go, I may never sleep.

Long Time Gone

Been away too long, I know. I'll write something real later today, but I'm off like a flash this morning.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

A Good Man Is Hard to Find

Evan called in a panic when his Jeep broke down on the freeway Sunday night. We (read I) had it towed to a local mechanic and waited for Monday morning with a rock in the pit of my stomach. What would THIS cost?

Come Monday, the lovely, lovely man who owns the repair shop called to say that he'd isolated the problem, a main sensor chip, and checked on it with Chrysler. It was within warranty by...twelve days. 12 days. He said he could replace it, but if we had the car towed to a Chrysler dealership, they'd do it free. (Turned out that even the tow to the dealership was free.)

This guy easily could have said nothing and pocketed the profit on the part and the labor costs. He did not do that. Instead, he researched and reported his findings. Maybe that shouldn't seem like a small miracle, but it does.

We picked up the Jeep yesterday, running fine and dandy. No charge. Nada.

So, if you're ever in the Blue Springs, Missouri, area and need a mechanic—go see Dave at Dave's Auto on Wood's Chapel Road. He's not only smart, he's honest, the kind of good man that's hard to find.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Making Memories

14 or 15 years ago, I volunteered to bring a group of Katie's class to our house for a holiday activity. The kids were seven or eight years old, and I think we had six or eight in our group. We baked stained glass cookies—sugar cookies with colored cutouts made from crushed Lifesavers. We had a great time—lots of laughter and silliness, especially with a little boy Katie had a crush on who'd never baked cookies before.

Katie called yesterday to ask for the recipe. I'd all but forgotten about them. Truthfully, the cookies looked better than they tasted and we never made them again. Still, she remembers the cookies fondly and wants to make them for friends.

Every day brings opportunities to make lasting memories. Do something today you'll smile about 15 years from now. (Something involving cookies and kids always works.)

Monday, December 01, 2008

The Earth Did Not Move

Katie had a wonderful time with N yesterday and plans to see her again at Christmas. She called me before and after their meeting. We talked about all the same things we always do—her boyfriend and friends, how things are going at her job, what she needs to work on for school, when she's coming for Christmas.

No tectonic shifts, far as I can tell. Unlike Pangea, we remain connected.

With any luck, the continental drift (if it does occur) will happen in geological time: too slowly to perceive or worry about. Especially because I can do exactly as much about it as I can about the evolution of the planet: not a damned thing.